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The Year in Sports--Day by Day

December 29, 1991

A look back at the year in sports:

Jan. 1--Colorado got a late break to beat Notre Dame 10-9 in the Orange Bowl. Notre Dame's Rocket Ismail scored a go-ahead touchdown on a dramatic 91-yard punt return inside the last minute, only to have the play wiped out by a penalty.

Jan. 1--Georgia Tech routed Nebraska 45-21 in the Citrus Bowl to finish as college football's only unbeaten team (11-0-1).

Jan. 2--Colorado won its first national title, beating Georgia Tech in the final Associated Press poll of sports writers and broadcasters. Colorado clinched the championship by defeating Notre Dame 10-9 in the Orange Bowl. Colorado (11-1-1) and Georgia Tech (11-0-1) were ranked 1-2 going into the bowls, and they remained that way after the bowls. Georgia Tech finished No. 1 in the coaches poll.

Jan. 3--Wayne Gretzky scored three goals including his 700th as the Los Angeles Kings beat the New York Islanders 6-3.

Jan. 4--Fu Mingxia, a 12-year-old from China, became the youngest world titlist in the history of any aquatic event by winning the women's platform gold medal at the World Swimming Championships in Perth, Australia.

Jan. 5--Edwin Jongejans of the Netherlands won the the men's 1-meter springboard diving at the World Swimming Championships. Jongejans finished just ahead of Mark Lenzi, 588.51 points to 578.22, and ended more than 12 years of American domination of men's diving at the world championships.

Jan. 5--Kevin Bradshaw of U.S. International scored 72 points to break Pete Maravich's NCAA Division I single-game scoring record of 69, but Loyola Marymount set an NCAA team scoring record in defeating the Gulls 186-140.

Jan. 8--Rod Carew became the 22nd player elected to the Hall of Fame in the first year of eligibility, and pitchers Ferguson Jenkins and Gaylord Perry made it on their third try.

Jan. 9--Dean Smith collected his 700th career coaching victory as North Carolina routed Maryland 105-73. The 59-year-old Smith became the sixth Division I basketball coach to reach the 700-victory plateau and did so in the shortest time.

Jan. 11--Ben Johnson returned from disgrace to receive a standing ovation and finish a close second in his first race since testing positive for steroids in the 1988 Olympic Games. Johnson competed in the 50-meter dash at the Hamilton Spectator Indoor Games and finished just behind Daron Council, who had a time of 5.75 seconds to Johnson's 5.77.

Jan. 12--Melvin Stewart ended the eight-year reign of Michael Gross as the world's best in the 200-meter butterfly with a world-record performance at the World Swimming Championships. Stewart's time of 1 minute, 55.69 seconds took .55 seconds off the record set by Gross in 1986, and was 1.09 seconds faster that the German's second-place time.

Jan. 12--Princeton beat Cornell 164-71 in an unusual swimming meet. A blizzard made transportation to Ithaca, N.Y. a problem so the schools agreed to compete by telephone. Both teams swam in their owns pools and the results were exchanged by FAX.

Jan. 13--42 people were killed when fans began brawling and a panic ensued during an exhibition soccer match between the Kaiser Chiefs and the Orlando Pirates in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Jan. 13--Phil Mickelson overcame an 8 on the 14th hole to become the second amateur since 1954 to win a PGA Tour event as he posted a one-shot victory over Bob Tway and Tom Purtzer in the Northern Telecom Open.

Jan. 13--The United States won the men's and women's team titles at the World Swimming Championships for the first time since 1978. Joerg Hoffmann shattered one of swimming's longest-standing world records, by chopping more than four seconds off Vladimir Salnikov's mark in the men's 1,500-meter freestyle at the World Swimming Championships. Hoffmann finished in 14 minutes, 50.36 seconds breaking the old mark of 14:54.72.

Jan. 18--Boris Becker beat Italy's Omar Camporese in the longest match in Australian Open history. Becker took 5 hours and 11 minutes to post a 7-6, 7-6, 0-6, 4-6, 14-12 victory in the third round to surpass the old mark for longevity of 4:59.

Jan. 19--Vincent Damphousse scored a record-tying four goals to lead the the Campbell Conference over the Wales Conference 11-5 in the NHL All-Star game.

Jan. 20--The New York Giants ended the two-year reign of San Francisco, beating the 49ers 15-13 in the NFC Championship on Matt Bahr's 42-yard field goal, his record fifth of the game.

Jan. 20--The Buffalo Bills scored 41 points in the first half en route to a 51-3 thrashing of the Los Angeles Raiders in the AFC Championship.

Jan. 25--Brett Hull scored two goals, making him only the third player in NHL history to score 50 goals in less than 50 games (49). Hull added two assists to lead the St. Louis Blues to a 9-4 rout of the Detroit Red Wings.

Jan. 26--Monica Seles of Yugoslavia became the youngest Australian Open women's champion in history, beating Jana Novotna of Czechoslovakia 5-7, 6-3, 6-1. Seles, 17, was four months younger than Margaret Court when she won the Australian in 1960.

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